When it comes to managing your student loan payments, deference and forbearance are popular options. But before you decide to defer your loan payments, there are a few things you should learn.
About deferring your student loans:
Deferring your loan allows you to pause payments temporarily till you manage to get back on your feet. However, while it may give you some much-needed breathing space, deferment is not always an ideal option. This is because the interest keeps on accruing during the deferment period. The accrued interest is then added to the total principal of the loan, increasing the total amount that you owe substantially.
Before you go ahead and defer your loans, you must do some hard thinking and explore all your options.
Ask yourself these questions before deciding to defer your student loans:
- How long do I need to postpone my payments for?
- Will I be able to meet my financial commitments after the deferment period?
- Am I willing to owe the higher total amount that will result from my unpaid accrued interest being added to the capital?
- Have I explored the alternatives to loan deferment?
- Would another repayment plan be a better solution instead of deferring my loan?
- Am I budgeting only for absolute essentials such as rent, groceries, utilities, and medical expenses?
- Can I save on any expenses and use that money to pay off my loan instead?
- Have interest rates come down and would it make better sense to refinance my loan?
- Have I spoken to my lender and asked if there is another solution that I do not know about?
This last question is particularly important. Your lender may be able to offer you a better solution based on your payment history, your credit score, and other factors.